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Causes and Symptoms of Achilles Tendinopathy

Tuesday, 17 October 2023 00:00

Achilles tendinopathy, or inflammation of the Achilles tendon, can hinder daily activities and mobility. The primary cause of Achilles tendinopathy is overuse, often prevalent among runners and others engaged in sports that involve repetitive stress on the Achilles tendon. This can lead to small tears and degeneration of the tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel. Those individuals with flat feet or over-pronated feet are at a higher risk. This can be a result of the flattened arches placing constant strain on the tendon, resulting in inflammation, pain, and swelling. Footwear choices, such as flip flops, sandals or high heels, can make the condition worse. Further, being overweight places extra stress on various body parts, including the Achilles tendon. A common symptom of Achilles tendinopathy is pain and tenderness in the back of the heel or ankle, which often gets worse with physical activity. Other symptoms can include stiffness in the ankle, reduced range of motion, and tendon swelling and thickening. Additionally, patents may experience a noticeable cracking or creaking sensation during movement. If you suspect you have Achilles tendinopathy or are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for a diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan. 

Achilles tendon injuries need immediate attention to avoid future complications. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Henry Miller of New Jersey. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is the Achilles Tendon?

The Achilles tendon is a tendon that connects the lower leg muscles and calf to the heel of the foot. It is the strongest tendon in the human body and is essential for making movement possible. Because this tendon is such an integral part of the body, any injuries to it can create immense difficulties and should immediately be presented to a doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of an Achilles Tendon Injury?

There are various types of injuries that can affect the Achilles tendon. The two most common injuries are Achilles tendinitis and ruptures of the tendon.

Achilles Tendinitis Symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dull to severe pain
  • Increased blood flow to the tendon
  • Thickening of the tendon

Rupture Symptoms

  • Extreme pain and swelling in the foot
  • Total immobility

Treatment and Prevention

Achilles tendon injuries are diagnosed by a thorough physical evaluation, which can include an MRI. Treatment involves rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. However, various preventative measures can be taken to avoid these injuries, such as:

  • Thorough stretching of the tendon before and after exercise
  • Strengthening exercises like calf raises, squats, leg curls, leg extensions, leg raises, lunges, and leg presses

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Freehold, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about The Causes, Types, and Treatments of Achilles Tendon Injuries
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